Many struggling alcoholics would like to know how to quit alcohol and start a new life in recovery. The prospect can seem overwhelming at first for just about anyone because the person intuitively knows that it requires massive changes. Secretly, the person might wish that they can somehow avoid all of those changes and figure out a way to take an easier route to recovery, but in the end they must face and accept the fact that they must change everything.
So how do you actually quit? I would recommend the following to anyone who is serious about stopping. It is not enough to wish that your life was different; you have to actually want to stop drinking alcohol. Very badly. If you are not at that point yet, do not waste your time with trying these techniques.
1) Go to rehab - Yep, this is the best course of action for almost anyone who is serious about quitting. You need to take massive action in early recovery if you are going to see decent results, and this is the ultimate shortcut to that level of action. Most everyone will benefit from the medical help at rehab as well as being in a controlled environment. Plus you can learn a bunch of new techniques for how to remain sober. Although people have quit before without treatment, this can give you a serious advantage. Remember, though, that going to rehab will not give you the desire to stop drinking. You have to produce that before you agree to go.
2) Follow up with massive change – For me, this meant living in long term rehab, going to 12 step meetings every single day for the first year, and doing lots of counseling and group therapy during the first year. I was literally living and eating and breathing recovery for the first two years of my sobriety. You don’t necessarily have to follow this same path, but you do need the same level of change and drastic action in your life.
3) Transition to personal, holistic growth – if you want to stay sober in the long run then you need to move beyond the massive action you took in early recovery and find balance and long term growth. This means stepping beyond the bounds of traditional recovery programs and learning how to grow in new ways. Doing so is a key to expanding your knowledge and your experience in recovery.
So the key to getting to balance is that you have to focus on abstinence for a long time, then start pushing yourself to grow and make positive changes. Doing this will help to protect you from relapse in the long run.